Source: (2003) Island Pamphlets No. 53. Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland: Island Publications.

Michael Hall observes that a number of restorative justice schemes have been established in working-class communities in Northern Ireland in recent years. Some emerged as alternatives to punishment beatings and shootings meted out by paramilitary groups. Some arose with a broader aim of dealing with disputes between individuals, in families, and in neighborhoods. Members of the Seeds of Hope Project (based in Belfast, Strabane, and Dublin) participated in a training program in “Victim Sensitive Offender Dialogueâ€? at the University of Minnesota in June 2002. Based on work by Mark Umbreit, this is an approach characterized by a “humanistic mediation style.â€? Following the training, the participants from Seeds of Hope Project gathered to discuss how to adapt what they had learned to Northern Ireland. This paper presents the questions and issues they discussed, with an aim of conveying the personal significance of their training to others and of exploring the potential of this approach in Northern Ireland.